The Metaverse is already on its way – but should you care? Yes. The metaverse has the potential to change the way the internet is accessed and thought about in the future; your daily life may be different in a few years because of this. There is a fair amount of metaverse hysteria going on today, and thinking about what’s next could be a worthwhile step for many companies. And a few facts under your belt can provide good protection against the current level of metaverse hysteria.
What is the Metaverse?
Metaverse is a virtual digital world where interconnected platforms mimic and enhance real-life experiences or create new digital and hybrid services. If that doesn’t help clarify things, let’s back up a bit-the context helps to understand.
The first time I tried the internet, I was looking at green text codes on the black screen through a very noisy dial-up modem. This is Internet 1.0, or its first incarnation: it has hyperlinks and is connected to publicly accessible databases. There are millennials who have a hard time understanding what I just described.
This was necessary until the late 1990s for web browsers, graphical interfaces with images, color, audio and possibly video. That’s what we call it today the Web: a PC-based interface first, but now more typically a smartphone-based two-dimensional screen experience.
For experts, this was followed in mid-2010 by Web 2.0 or the social element of the web – social networks, for example. The web is not just a repository of content, but a platform to “meet people” and create content and services. The Cloud concept fits very well here.
Internet 3.0 has now emerged as a new form, where AI and Blockchain can eliminate intermediaries and make information and services more accessible, more private and possibly more secure. This is still theoretical and debated, but it believes that society will build solutions/services to problems (a distributed architecture) and reduce the reliance on large technology companies that run large services. for everyone.
The metaverse fits here because it’s a contemporary of Web 3.0 – it refers to the user experience rather than a larger role in society or technology. Imagine moving from a two-dimensional experience on a web browser screen to a three-dimensional virtual world where people, businesses and services can create a new presence or identity. You – more precisely, your “avatar” – will move to different stores, offices, theaters, meetings in the Metaverse. The avatar is able to communicate with others, listen to concerts, buy things, organize meetings and work, all without having to be physically anywhere in particular. Many of these are now available as virtual services without the new 3D interface (web conferencing, video channels, e-commerce sites).
It should also be noted that many of these three-dimensional worlds already exist as games: Second Life, Minecraft, and Roblox are good examples of virtual games that have become virtual worlds.
How will you navigate this new world? It is possible through voice assistants (instead of URLs) and using the Virtual Reality headset or Augmented Reality interface (which will overlay virtual objects on a smartphone screen pointing to the area next to you.
In the future, instead of VR headsets, people will probably see holograms in front of them, and thanks to Web 3.0, digital currency (blockchain) objects and AI assistants will make browsing easier. Yes, it’s like a Star Trek episode, but a lot of the technology we use today will fit into the original TV series.
Many are confused by the elements of Web 3.0 in the Metaverse. Expect that in the future the terminology can be adapted to provide better clarity and separation. But I expect the confusion to continue for a few years. Currently, Metaverse only focuses on elements of the customer experience. But even this is far from simple delivery.
We don’t have a metaverse yet. The idea of the metaverse is still based on the same concept of the World Wide Web – it should be a global interactive platform where interoperable worlds are connected. Currently, there are many meta-islands, or meta-walled gardens, small communities where you can do service. The global standard for interconnections is lacking. We will not see real global mass adoption of Metaverse services until there is an interconnected model in the digital world.
Many companies seem to like the potential of the metaverse and are happy to participate. However, before a hasty move, we suggest taking a moment to reflect. Creating a new Internet experience is an important step: it allows us to look back and see what needs to be adjusted or improved. There is a lot to improve in the current customer experience before we all start getting into holograms.
Today, cyberspace is a great tool, but it suffers from major flaws. Customers and businesses have no “real” identity on the Internet. A libertarian point of view is grateful for this, and the possibility of creating secondary or anonymous characters should be supported. However, with the history of fraud and digital crime in mind, society needs to address identity not as an afterthought, but as an important issue. It is time to make decisions that have a positive impact on the lives and safety of many people, including vulnerable people and minors.
Navigating the metaverse is now a traditional experience. To enter the ‘Metaverse’ Nike experience with Roblox, you need to download the Roblox app, search for Nike (by typing), then click on the 2D Nike image shown in the results. After that you can play a basketball game against other real players. There are many more web/app interactions in the old school than the first Metaverse experiences. New models and interface modes are needed to bring a new experience. Otherwise, the Metaverse will die after a short, full gadget life.
Payments were not designed for the web, and while credit cards are commonly used today, they are still one that is thought to have drawbacks. The concept of web 3.0 often includes a reference to “cryptocurrency”, or more simply digital currencies. In fact, most metaverse platforms build their own blockchain currency into their system. There is still work to be done there to clarify legal compliance and security for most of them. Facebook’s numerous attempts to create a global digital currency (Libra/Diem) have been crushed by local and global regulations. It takes more than a blockchain solution to create digital currency: the legal framework for actual digital currency does not yet exist.
So, is the future here? NO. But that’s what intrigues the whole subject of the metaverse. A new wave of usability improvements is coming to change the way we experience the internet. It may not replace the Web as we know it, but it will add to and expand it. We have time to understand, plan, test and give new experience.